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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  August 29, 2014 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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hi i'm lisa fletcher and you are in the stream. drones in the united states. there will be 30,000 of them flying above your head within the next 20 years. is america ready? ♪ by september 30th of 2015, the faa has to have regulations in place to allow unmanned aerial vehicles, more typically known as drones into the nation's air space as the deadline nears technology
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continues to evolve. when you think of the word drone, you probably think of surveillance and the military, but as they become cheaper and more accessible and certainly smaller, everyone from uav enthusests to farmers and animal protection advocates will be using them. but the new era is leading a lot of states to ask how these private drones should be regulated and whether it's even possible. waj some interesting conversation really surrounding the ethics of drones. >> yeah, you just mentioned the deadline for integration of drones, we asked our community is the united states ready for drones? 85% said not ready. and:
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and we'll be discussing some of those uses tonight. loyal streamers as you know you are the third host of the show. all of your online contributions drive this discussion. engage us throughout the show and we'll try to get your tweet on the air. >> joining us to widen the conversation is a member of the truman national security project and a former army intelligence captain and drone pilot. joining us by skype is the dean of college of aviation services at utah valley university. he is working to help his state become a drone testing site. and an activist with the electronic freedom foundation, and a drone pilot and the president of shark, an animal protection group. welcome to all of you. pierre you are an army intelligence captain. you were a drone pilot. when most people think about
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drones those are the terms they think about for military and surveillance, but there are so many other uses. give us the 101 on the vast array of drones. >> sure. number one they come in all shapes and sizes. they could be as small as the size of your hand or as big as a 737 boeing. and also the duration of flight. they can fly for minutes or days on end. and thirdly is the sensors you put on them. you can have full-motion video, thermal imaging to detect heat. those are some of the ways we distinguish between drones. in military we use them number one for lethal purposes, but that's a small sliver of what the military uses drones for. in most cases it's to gather intelligence. so i think we'll see drones being used for firefighting,
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search and rescue, border control, lots of domestic uses as well. >> there is a big misnomer that drones are really in the per view of the military. steve you use a drone that most people have never heard of. tell us what you do with it? >> one of my loves for a long time has been aviation. so it was kind of natural for me to want to find out more about drone technology. it's a lot of fun, and there are some very practical uses. i can take my drone and have a great time putting it up someplace, and at the same time i can be watching areas that perhaps as far as animal protection goes, very badly need to be watched like in pennsylvania there are places where they just slaughter hundreds or thousands of live
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pigeons individually tossed out of boxes. it's basically trap shooting with live birds, so that's something i have done on a number of occasions, and in doing so -- i mean we find illegal animal abuse. i have found illegal burning, where they are burning pigeons as well as other garbage including plastics and tires and this kind of thing, so, you know, one of the ways that i have enjoyed my hobby is to fly drones in a place where i can also get some valuable footage of animal abuse where we can try to stop that abuse. >> lisa our community is still divided:
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so wayne as lisa mentioned, a lot of people equate drones with foreign policy and military strikes in yemen and somalia, and we heard steve talking about using them for animal protection, talk about how they are used in other areas in the united states? >> well, the first thing i would like to say is in my area, we don't use the d word, because the d word as many know has a very negative connotation associated with it. so we call them unmanned aerial systems or unmanned aerial vehicles. once the faa decides on the -- integration into our system, 85% of the use will be for agriculture and public safety. our wildfires we have in utah, california, and arizona are
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getting more widespread and more intense, and the way we fight those fires now is really the dated technology. it's a little bit better than what we had 40 years ago when an airplane would actually fly over a fire and drop a tube with photos that that plane had taken. with the advent of usa's now to be able to search with their came cameras, they can detect areas where the fire might move and areas where firefighters can't see. that's what happened in that tragic accident in arizona where those 19 firefighters were there. there was a blazing fire on the other side of a ridge that they didn't see, and that was ultimately their demise. if there was an uas there, they would have seen it. >> you wrote a piece called
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learn to stop worrying and love the drones. >> yes, if you think about the economic benefits, we're talking about creating a whole other industry which will be helpful -- >> i think i read 2 billion by 2015. >> there are different estimates out there, lisa, but we're at least talking in the billions, so that is safe to say. we're also talking abc -- about efficiencies in other areas. secondly, you have to look at the public interest benefit. search and rescue for instance, disaster relief, for instance, these drones can go places that humans and helicopters can't go. so those are two of the reasons i'm excited. >> i read with regard to the floods that just happened in colorado that a private company with a private drone volunteered its use, and they were able to map the communities and then
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hand the maps over to the authorities. that's pretty amazing. >> it is. it is similar to what we do in the military when we chart areas. the old maps you have on google earth and other sources are outdated. and you need an accurate visual that takes into account something like that flood. our community is still critical: trevor i want you to get in the conversation. i know you are a bit critical here. what are your thoughts? >> yeah, i think the guests so far have done a good job of explainingment some very good uses for drones, but we also have to look at the flip side of things, which is misuse
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specialsly by law enforcement authorities. the types of agencies that are using the most advanced types of drones right now are local law enforcement agencies and now federal law enforcement agencies. they have been using them for years, using some of the same tactics that the militaries use. of course they are not firing missiles off of these drones, but they are flying the same types of predators that can stay in the air for days or hours at a time. and can be equipped with cell phone interception technology. the department of homeland security has ten of these flying on the border. the immigration bill being debated in congressman dates that they fly them 24 hours aday. but they are also being loaned out to law enforcemented agencies around the country, and none of these agencies have privacy issues. >> trevor i'm going to put the
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pause on right there, because i want to talk more after the break about that. and ask our viewers should law enforcement be allowed to use these drones? and if they are, do stronger lines need to be drawn? tweet us your thoughts.
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♪ welcome back. in that was the view from a private drone that monitors power lines. we're talking about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the u.s. and how much they should be regulated. before the break we asked if law
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enforcementment should be able to use drones. waj what has been the response? >> a lot of hesitation and suspicion: >> there are a lot more expensive. >> that's true. >> trevor your organization obtained a list from customs and border protection about how many times it flew predator surveillance drones on behalf of other agencies. talk about what you found? >> yeah, as i said before the break, they have about ten
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drones, but when they are not being used they lend them out to other law enforcement agencies. when we got our freedom of information request back, it turned out they had used them over 100 times. and this is the same pattern we have been seeing over and over again with the federal government is they refuse to release accurate information about who is flying drone in this country and what they have been used for. now when they release this information it's obviously months old and comes out in a trickle, rather than posting it on a public website like they should -- >> what do you think the issue is? i mean that u.s. boarder patrol and customs loaned these to other agencies? are these agencies not allowed to use them?
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i mean what would be the purpose of disnot disclosing the usage? >> that's a great question. i'm not sure why they would not want to expose it, besides having the public find out about it. we don't know how long they keep the footage, for example. we don't know what they keep the footage for? are they looking for other things besides wanted criminals? these are all questions the american people deserve answers to, before law enforcement starts using these drones regularly. and it seems they are going ahead anyway. >> pierre i want you to react to what needs to be said? and do you think lines need to be drone a little more distinctly? >> i think first off, just because someone doesn't release information to me, doesn't necessarily mean they are trying
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to hide it. i applaud trevor and his organization for seeking transparency. i have no issues with that. where the draw the line is going to boil down to number one whether we think drone require warrants? i think that's the first line. and the second line is whether we're going to restrict different purposes. so the question is if one of your viewers, steve wants to use it to look at animal rights is that a purpose we're going to allow? versus whether someone wants to look in your backyard and determine whether you are smoking marijuana? so first whether we'll require warrants and second what purposes we can restrict this use for. >> michael tweeted in: and the line he says is too thin. tom says:
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wayne what is your response to that? >> i think one of the big things that the faa is going to do -- what the faa wants to do is they want to safely integrate uas's into your national air space system, but they also want to create rules and regulations that govern how they will fly when they can fly, how high they can fly, what kind of activity that they can do. so one of the things that will do in the next five, six, ten years will be just like they have done in commercial aviation where they will have rules and regulations. right now there are no rules, but that will come to an end once we have the integration of these uas's with the faa authority over them. >> steve do you want to weigh in here?
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>> well, this is an incredible technology that the rest of the world is going to embrace it, we certainly should too. there are so many fantastic positives it to, that it's only the flat earth society that is going to ignore it. this is where -- the electronic freedom foundation comes in. for somebody to just say i'm afraid of a drone, that's not a good reason. there are people afraid of automobiles and airplanes and so on and so on. the electronic freedom foundation are bringing up some of the real concerns that every american should want to know more about, and frankly, i think the faa is probably going to do the best job that they can. this is something new, so we're going to grow into it. like we have grown into every other technology that has been developed. this is nothing to be afraid of,
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this is something to look at the issues that pop up and zeal with them in a responsible manner. we have satellites taking pictures of the world every day. planes are flying over us, so to pretend that somebody doesn't have accessibility to you in your backyard, but really nobody really cares. there are billions of us on this planet, and for people to be afraid of the technology seems very childish to me. deal with the real issues. >> they are trying to deal with the real issues in legislation after legislation. the laws differ, though, from state-to-state, so we want to talk about what the best legislation is going to be when we come back? think about that. we'll talk about it after the break. ♪ véca.
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>> hi, i'm georgia purdin, and i am in "the stream." >> welcome back, we're talking about drone use in the u.s. and you wanted to respond to something that steve was talking about in terms of embracing this new technology. >> yes. i think he made an excellent point when he said we have to
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embrace this new technology, because i think that this is one of the most important innovations and advances in aviation since the wright brothers. look back a couple of hundred years ago, and we're watching the first human flight and we're all standing there wondering whether this will be an important advancement in our society. and this is basically where we are right now. they are going to make a major impact, and we, like steve said, have to embrace it. >> pierre, so many states right now have pending legislation, none of it looks alike. we were talking earlier that in 20 years, 30,000 of these will be flying around. what sort of legislation in terms of the level it has to occur is going to best serve the americans? >> i think this is best served at a federal level. a lot of the privacy concerns are based off of the
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constitution. and that's best served at the federal level. it's understandable that states are going to have to take action. but there needs to be an overall framework, and right now states are doing their own thing, the federal government is violent for the most part although there are bills in the pipeline, but it has to be handled at a federal level and then states can fill in the blanks. >> another call is drone safety. >> right. crashing. >> yeah. they are always crashing. and so we have this great comment by director of the humans and automation live. give it a listen. >> it's a communicationed linked. this drone will have to be able to successful land itself safely for it to be a wide-spread use in commercial settings, for example. so to do that you have to have a
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lot of automation. unfortunately it turns into a destruction problem much like in a driving domain in that as soon as you put enough automation on board then people start to get bored, and all of the other issues that come along with boredom and destruction, texting, sleeping, sfrefor exam the cockpit where it's difficult for pilots to stay awake. the some thank will be drones with long-term surveillance. >> trevor tackle the safety concerns especially concerning regulation. >> i think we definitely have to look at safety concerns, not only are these things very light so it's easy to lose control of them, but a lot of the smaller drones are easily hackable. and that's what i am talking
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about next week is all of the ways that these can be hacked. i but i want to go back to something the other guest said about embracing this technology. none of the states are considering a full ban on drones. we want rules in place for law enforcement for surveillance. but we also have to make sure that these types of activities that a lot of the guests are talking about stay legal, and i don't think any of these bills are really going to outlaw that. in fact putting privacy ruling in place can actually help these types of activities because that means that we will kind of get rid of this problem for all of these states. i thought a lot of drone makers are caught in this unternty period, and 95% of the uses that everyone is talking about right now will be able to go forward as planned. >> uh-huh. can the use of the drones keep
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pace with the technology? >> i think they can if we look forward. we talked about the technology as steve said, and said this is cutting the edge. it is. but some of these drones are second and third generation compared to what the military has. so look to what we already know is possible, and we know who is possible through the military in terms of things like the predator and things more advanced than that. so we can base our legislation off of the most advanced technology we have, look three steps forward and that's how we should be legislating. >> trevor you want to get in on that? >> i think he is absolutely correct. the first drones could only stay in the air for 15 minutes or a half hour. and there will be drones that will be solar powered and could
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stay in the air indefinitely. >> incredible. i want to say thanks to all of our guests. thank you so much, what incredibly diverse voices on the show tonight. ♪ weekdays at 5 eastern only on al jazeera america >> i'm ali velshi, the news has become this thing where you talk to experts about people,
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and al jazeera has really tried to talk to people, about their stories. we are not meant to be your first choice for entertainment. we are ment to be your first choice for the news. welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david shuster here are the stories we are following for you this hour. >> cannot stand by and openness to be confused with the tolerance of extremism. >> david cameron raises the terror threat level voicing concerns over the islamic state. and the number of people who have now fled the fighting in syria totals more than 3 million. and exactly nine years after